Why Local Video Marketing Is So Important?

local-video-marketingLocal video marketing is a powerful marketing tool that can deliver financial rewards to a business, unlike any other advertising. It is a phenomenal way to convert searchers into customers. Video enhances the searchability of your content here is where local video marketing is a must for any small business.

If you ever have used the web to do a search you will notice some companies already have a web presence however not many of them have understood why local video marketing is so important. The key benefit of local video marketing is that they help the viewers to leave their feedback or post comments regarding the video, which is a great way to interact with customers.


How Important Will Video Content Be in 2016?

Great content campaigns utilize multiple mediums with a single unified brand voice and a coherent, comprehensive direction. They call on the power of written articles, photos, infographics, videos, and interactive items like quizzes and surveys to cater to many different audiences in many different ways. However, a startling number of content marketers still focus primarily on written content marketing, fearing the complexities and extra effort required by more advanced formats, like video.

Video content, when done well, can take a little more time, effort, and technical expertise compared to written content, but it’s an important piece to the modern content puzzle—and it’s about to become even more important in 2016. Can your content strategy survive without videos as little as one year from now?

Increasing Consumer Demand

local video marketing

The bottom line for content is consumer demand. Content marketing has only been successful in recent years because consumers have been hungry for more information and more entertainment. The past few years have seen an increase in interest in video content, and this upcoming year will spark even greater demand for the medium—some predicting that up to 69 percent of all online traffic will be for video content by 2017.

Why is this?

Faster, Greater Internet Access                                                       

It may seem like a minor thing because it happens so gradually and average Internet access is already pretty good, but increasing availability and speed of Internet is key for video content to develop even further. Written content is nice, but video content tends to be even easier to consume—it just takes greater data to transmit. Better, more ubiquitous Internet access means even more people will seek out video answers to their problems and questions over written content, especially when on the go.

Video Embeds in Other Channels

YouTube has over a billion active users, but it’s no longer the only social platform making good use of videos. Vine has exploded in popularity, and starting this year, other giants in the social media world are doing more to bring video content to their users. For example, both Facebook and Twitter now offer integrated, automatically played videos in their users’ newsfeeds. Over the course of the next year, expect to see even more features on these platforms that support and encourage others to post and share videos.

Greater Ease of Creation

Of course, the tools available for creating and sharing videos are continuing to evolve as well, prompting the circulation of more videos (and subsequently, the demand for them). Practically every phone in the country now has a video-capable camera and Internet access that can be used to share any videos captured. New platforms are emerging that make it easier for users to transmit videos, from bite-sized editing platforms like Vine to live-broadcasting apps like Periscope and Meerkat. These platforms are on an extreme upward trajectory, and they’re flooding the Internet with more video content than ever before.

Shareability

One of the most important goals of any content marketing campaign is getting more shares, which results in greater brand exposure, greater domain authority, and greater search ranks. Already, video content dominates in the content world, getting more shares than their written or pictoral counterparts. As it becomes easier to share this medium, it’s going to become even more popular.

Can a Content Campaign Survive in 2016 Without Video?

local video marketing

The short answer is yes, but only on a small scale. If your brand enjoys a niche spot with limited competition and a pre-existing audience that thrives on a medium other than video, there’s nothing so radical that will happen in the next several months that will make your entire strategy collapse. However, if you have any competitors, or if your reach is at a point where thousands of people have the potential to view your material, video content will start becoming crucial to your campaign. You might still get a trickle of readers and followers sharing your written content as video content continues to rise in popularity, but you won’t see a fraction of the potential that you could see while including it.

Unless you’re a part of that tiny minority capable of commanding large audiences without any form of video complementing your efforts, the time to adopt a video element in your content strategy is now.

How to Get Started

Most people who haven’t yet adopted a video content marketing strategy have avoided doing so because they’re intimidated by the medium. They don’t know what they would create with a video, they don’t know what tools to use, and they might believe that they need professional video editing training in order to be successful.

Fortunately, creating videos, from the ideation process to final production and syndication, is easier than ever before. As long as you have a smartphone and a little bit of time on your hands, you have the potential to create a quality piece. The type of content is still largely up to you—you can do simple tutorials, a rant or rave, reviews, interviews, or even just introduce some of the people you work with.

You also don’t have to do anything crazy, like producing a new video every day. Start small by creating new videos occasionally, and make an effort to learn the countless new tools available to video marketers. Your audience will thank you for it, and you’ll have a much better chance of survival in 2016.

The Benefits of Local Video Marketing are Countless.

Theses methods were once great ways to attract new customers but in the world of internet, the use of local video marketing is becoming more and more popular. Local video marketing is hot right now.

 

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How To Make Your PPC A Success.

PPC success is not measured by the best technology, its measured by the best web strategy. A very important element that can drive PPC success is Keyword Grouping, an activity in keyword management many business owners fail to perform, resulting in poor PPC performance. PPC success is about doing a lot of things right, hopefully this article give you some insight into one of the most important pieces.


Leveraging Bid Modifiers for PPC Success

PPC-SUCCESS

PPC-SUCCESS

Setting up a pay-per-click ad account on a search engine requires a lot of work. Consider this simplified checklist, which would be typical of a new campaign launch.

  • Campaign name. Needs to be descriptive and fit established naming conventions.
  • Campaign type. Where will ads appear? Do you want to include search partners?
  • Budget. What are you willing to spend daily, weekly, monthly?
  • Ad rotation. This will affect your ad testing and results.
  • Delivery method. Can be standard or accelerated.
  • Bid strategy. Are you controlling the bids or letting the platform take some liberties?
  • Language targeting.
  • Location targeting.
  • Ad copy. Include at least two variations in each ad group to ensure you’re testing for optimal messaging.
  • Keywords. Which match types will you target?
  • Keyword bids. Tiered by specificity but also needing to meet certain thresholds for visibility.

And that is just to get a new campaign out the door. Then the work begins. You’re spending real money and you need to show a return.

You should dig into your data and start making smart optimizations. I could write an entire post about leveraging the search query report to improve keywords, and how to maintain a robust ad testing strategy. However, in this post I’ll focus on bid modifiers since they can be mathematically derived and are directly connected to your financial results.

What Are Bid Modifiers?

Years ago, if you wanted to bid differently for, say, California and Kansas you had to create separate campaigns for those geographic areas. This was also the case if you wanted different bids for mobile devices versus desktop-laptop computers versus tablets. You had total control over bids, but you also had a lot of virtually identical campaigns. Then Google announced Enhanced Campaigns for AdWords.

Enhanced Campaigns were met with much angst by the pay-per-click ad industry. This was mainly because Google grouped tablets with desktop and laptop computers. In fact, most PPC professionals have founded the ad results different on tablets than on desktops and laptops.

Regardless, Enhanced Campaigns introduced the concept of bid modifiers, which was helpful. This allowed an individual campaign to modify bids for different device types or geographies with a simple bid adjustment ranging from -100 percent to +300 percent. So how can you leverage these bid modifiers for better results?

How to Calculate Bid Modifiers

Bid modifiers are helpful because they can be calculated with simple math. As an example, consider this campaign in AdWords.

Bid modifiers — for Devices, in this example — simplify AdWords campaign management. <em>Click to enlarge image.</em>

Bid modifiers — for Devices, in this example — simplify AdWords campaign management. Click image to enlarge.

Say the click-through rate and average position of mobile is similar to computers, but the cost-per-click and conversion rate are much lower on mobile. This is producing large difference in cost per conversion — mobile is much cheaper. There are two different approaches here.

  • Lower cost per conversion on computers but maintain mobile. Start by lowering the default bids by, say, 20 percent, which will reduce your bid prices on computers. Then you add a positive bid modifier for mobile to counteract. If you started with a $1 bid on computers, the new bid would be $0.80. To modify the mobile bid back to $1.00, you need a 25 percent increase.
  • Be more aggressive on mobile since it has a desirable cost per conversion. Just calculate the increase spending level based on the goal. If computers are meeting the goal, calculate the bid modifier by dividing computer by mobile. If the cost per conversion on computers was $9.62 and the cost per conversion on mobile was $5.74, the math would be $9.62/$5.74 = 168 percent. Therefore you would place a +68% bid modifier.

If the cost per conversion is higher on mobile than computers and you want to reduce it, use the same math as above and divide computer/mobile. This time you’ll get a percentage less than 100. Subtract from 100 and set as a negative bid modifier.

Setting and Changing Bid Modifiers

Bid modifiers for Locations, Ad schedule, and Devices are in the Settings area of your AdWords’ campaigns. Here’s a sample AdWords’ interface.

Bid modifiers for locations, ad schedule, and devices in the Settings area of your AdWords' campaigns.

Bid modifiers for locations, ad schedule, and devices in the Settings area of your AdWords’ campaigns. Click image to enlarge.

The “Bid adj.” column will be visible by default and will appear as dashes if you haven’t set it. Just hover the mouse over the value until the cursor changes and you can edit these inline.

Remember these tips:

  • The range is limited. Minus 100 percent on the low end effectively turns something off; the maximum increase is 300 percent.
  • Locations and ad schedule modifiers will only show up if you’ve targeted them specifically.
  • You can modify anything you can target, such as state, county, DMA region, city, and postal code.

In short, bid modifiers are a powerful way to optimize a campaign’s performance by device, location, or time of day without having to create new campaigns. Simply calculate the difference between your current metric and the goal and set modifiers accordingly.

If you need to focus attention for a finite amount of time, PPC is perfect. In 2016, PPC will continue to evolve into a behavioral customer journey where strategies and campaigns will be developed around the sales funnel and multiple touch points. Your PPC Success is Our Success!

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Importance of SEM and SEO

The famous question of SEM and SEO is a riddled that still newbie cannot solve. The biggest difference between SEM and SEO is that with SEO a company will not pay the search engine or another website owner a fee to have their URL listed in the search results. Many experts believe that using of SEM and SEO is the best approach. However impact on user behavior, SEM and SEO is unknown. The key to winning is SEM and SEO is the ability to choose the right keywords that potential customers would use to locate the website, which have the right balance of traffic versus competition.

Comparing SEO and SEM: Which is the Right Choice?

Marketers and agencies often pit SEO and SEM (or PPC) against one another, claiming one is better or more valuable. However, choosing both can work to your benefit. Companies that own both a paid and organic listing on the same Google search results page experience 10 times higher click through rates and 200% more conversions (according to SEER Interactive and Search Engine Watch). SEO and SEM have been some of the lowest cost-per-lead channels for our agency and our clients.

If you need clarification on the features and benefits of SEO compared to SEM, this chart compares the two apples to apples in several categories. See below for more detailed explanations of each category.

benefits of SEO and SEM

Features

A typical search engine results page (SERP) lists 10 organic results, each containing a blue webpage title, a green URL, and a description of the webpage. Some SERPs may also display links to relevant news stories, images, scholarly publications, local business listings, maps, and the Google Knowledge Graph, which gives detailed information directly in the search results. The number of organic results served depends on the search query.

Advertisers using Google’s SEM platform, AdWords, can choose to display one ad headline (up to 25 characters), two lines of body copy (35 characters each), and a landing page URL. AdWords offers additional Ad Extensions to improve the functionality of paid ads, such as a phone number, address, reviews, and more links to relevant webpages. The Google Display Network allows advertisers to serve image and video ads to Google’s partner websites based on several targeting criteria including keywords, placements, topics, interests, remarketing lists, and demographics.

Traffic Potential

The beauty of SEO is that you can rank in the organic search results for an unlimited number of long-tail search terms. 15-20% of daily Google searches have never been searched before. With 3.5 billion Google searches completed every day, that’s in the neighborhood of 600-700 million new, unique searches per day. Intelligent keyword research, proper website optimization, and strategic content creation can position your site as a match to the search intent of a huge number of search queries.

Traffic from paid search, on the other hand, is limited by your budget, among other factors. Across the AdWords accounts we manage (Search Network only for this example), our clients pay an average of $2.28 per click. If your SEM budget is $2,500/month, for example, that’s just over 1,000 clicks per month.

You won’t be able to get more traffic from paid search unless you a) give it more budget or b) further optimize your campaigns. Cost-per-click depends on the competitiveness of your keywords, your account structure, the quality of your ads and landing pages, and the position in which you want your ad to serve on the SERPs. Even with further optimization, you can only lower your cost-per-click to a certain extent given the competition in your market.

Keyword Opportunities

Again, your opportunities for ranking organically for a particular search query are potentially unlimited. The only factors limiting your ability to rank for long-tail searches are the overall quality of your website and the depth of your content. While defining specific keyword targets and optimizing content to rank for those terms used to be the goal, Google’s sophisticated algorithms now recognize the overall subject matter of your content and reward for relevancy. Instead of optimizing for a limited set of keywords, focus on becoming a subject matter expert and creating high-quality, useful content.

With SEM, you can choose to advertise for any keywords you want, but will again be limited by budget. It’s best to choose a few well-targeted topics and keywords for which your prospective customers will be searching. Within the AdWords Search Network, there are four keyword match types that allow you to be selective in your targeting strategy based on the relevance of the search query to your keyword.

  • Exact Match – Show your ads when the search query matches your keyword exactly.
  • Phrase Match – Show your ads when the search query is a close variant to your keyword.
  • Broad Match – Show your ads when the search query is a relevant variation or synonym of your keyword.
  • Modified Broad Match – Identify a term that must be included in the search for your ad to show.

Cost

You cannot have success in SEO without commitment. Successful SEO requires keyword analysis, website optimization (and sometimes a website overhaul), and dedicated, consistent content creation and link building efforts. You will need a dedicated internal resource or outsource marketing department to focus on all facets of SEO, continually monitor rankings and traffic, and stay up to date on the latest search algorithm changes and trends. It requires an experienced resource and financial commitment to initial work and ongoing improvements.

Likewise, SEM campaigns require a dedicated budget. Some companies will spend $1,000 on an AdWords campaign over the first two weeks, then quit due to lack of conversions. This is misguided and shortsighted. A successful SEM campaign requires an investment of time and money. Give your marketing agency or internal department a few months at a minimum to optimize your account and get it running efficiently.

Expect to spend at least $2,500 per month in ad spend fees at a minimum. Commit to the campaign, then evaluate after an appropriate amount of time. Don’t quit too early, or you could be dismissing a valuable channel. Depending on the size of your account, the monthly maintenance costs of an SEM campaign can be lower than SEO management. Expect to pay between 10-30% of your monthly ad spend to an agency for management services. Again, monthly management must be done to ensure SEM success.

Goals

Many online marketers focus solely on organic rankings to judge the success of an SEO program. While higher organic rankings certainly increase your traffic potential, you should really be more focused on the overall website traffic earned from organic search. If you have high rankings but organic traffic is falling, that’s a sign you are focusing on the wrong keyword set. As long as you create exceptional, valuable, high-quality content to match the many intentions of searchers through every step of your sales funnel, the rankings and traffic will follow.

The goals of an SEM campaign differ slightly depending on the network you’re targeting. For the Search Network, the goal is very similar to your SEO goal. You want to match the intent of the searcher, serve interesting ad copy and offers that entice the searcher to click, and drive visitors to targeted landing pages that contain the content they need. While you can also drive website traffic and conversions through the Display Network, your display ads are more often going to help increase brand awareness and visibility. Strategic remarketing campaigns can also re-engage visitors who have been to your site but failed to convert, helping your company stay top of mind.

Time-to-Value

Depending on the level of competition and your dedication to SEO and content creation, it could take 6-12 months or longer to crack the top page of the organic search results. We often say SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Once you achieve top rankings, however, it’s easier to hold on to your position and reap the long-term benefits of SEO.

SEM, on the other hand, can bring in leads and drive conversions right away. Following intelligent keyword research and account setup, your ads can get in front of targeted searchers on day one.

The purpose of SEM and SEO is increase the visibility of your website and bring more customers to you. Learning and keeping up with trends and whats new in SEM and SEO is very important to us.

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Which SEO Metric is most important?

The SEO metric is based on traffic and the QSR. One of the major SEO metric is the amount of time the web hosting server is up and running. PageRank and the anchor text of links though still very important, because Google was adding more and more SEO metrics (in 2014 Google says they use over 200 ranking factors) the value of any one SEO metric is reduced. Usually, this SEO metric is used to find the strength of a site over time and to compare the strength of several sites.

5 SEO Metrics That Are Deceiving You

SEO Metrics

SEO Metrics

Search engine optimization (SEO) is hailed as one of the most cost-efficient and beneficial online marketing strategies—and rightfully so. Provided you put enough time and effort into your strategy, you should see higher organic search visibility, increased traffic, sales, and revenue. If your conversion rates are in order, for most businesses, that means a recurring revenue stream higher than the amount of money you’re investing into it.

Unfortunately, there’s a big problem in the SEO world—even though they’re objective and provable, not all metrics give you the full story. In fact, many common SEO metrics can actively deceive you, giving you a biased or inaccurate picture of the success or failure of your campaign. Here are five metrics that are doing so:

1. Organic Traffic Tells You Nothing of Behavior.  I’ll start with an easy one. Organic traffic is one of the best ways to measure your overall SEO results, as it shows you how many people found your site through organic searches. If this number increases over time, it means more people are finding your site in search results (an indication of campaign success). There’s one problem with this: organic traffic alone doesn’t tell you anything about user behavior. You might have 1,500 more visitors this month than last month, but if those visitors immediately bounced, you aren’t necessarily in a better position. Your goal shouldn’t just be more traffic—it should be a greater volume of more engaged traffic. Use complementary and qualitative measures, such as Behavior Flow in Google Analytics or heat mapping software like CrazyEgg to understand more about how your users are interacting with your site.

2. Likes and Followers Aren’t the Full Picture. Similar to how traffic can’t tell you how your visitors feel about your website, likes and follows can’t tell you anything about how users feel about your brand. You might have attracted 10,000 followers, but that doesn’t mean those 10,000 people are interested in what you have to say. Rather than chasing after vanity figures like “likes” and “follows,” seek out meaningful engagement in the form of comments, shares, and social visits. You’ll find that greater follower countsaren’t always correlated with greater engagement—and greater engagement is what you’re actually after.

3. Links and Shares Offer Gradients of Quality.  I mentioned “vanity figures” in the previous section, but any metric can become a vanity figure if it isn’t considered the right way. For example, take the social shares and links that a piece of content on your site earns—it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that the higher these numbers are, the better. After all, social shares send social signals and inbound links from other sites pass domain authority that collectively result in higher rankings. However, you also must consider that both links and shares offer varying degrees of value. For example, a link on a low-quality spam site isn’t worth nearly as much as a link from a leading authority in your industry, and social shares can be carried out by robots. Dig deeper to find out who’s sharing and linking your work, and only then should you form a conclusion about a piece’s success.

4. There Are Benefits You Just Can’t Measure. If all these deceptive metrics are bumming you out, here’s an exceptionally positive one: there are some benefits of SEO that simply aren’t measurable in any direct, objective way. For example, how do you measure the brand awareness you gain by being visible to a search user who doesn’t immediately click through to your site? How do you measure the reputation you earn from being the author of one of Google’s rich answers? How can you measure when a non-engaged visitor tells their real-life friends about your site, generating referral traffic, because of how impressed they were when they visited? It’s exceedingly difficult to do so, so keep this in mind when calculating the total value or return of your SEO strategy.

5. Your Cost Basis Is Probably Wrong.  Just when you started feeling good about these deceptive metrics, it’s time to bring you back down again. If you’re calculating the ROI of your campaign, you need a solid cost basis in place. You’ve probably gathered up all the subscription services you pay for and any agencies or freelancers you enlist, but those bottom-line dollars aren’t the only costs you need to measure. For example, are you counting the salaries of everybody working on various components of your SEO campaign? Did you count the three extra hours you spent figuring out how to resolve a technical issue? Did you count the two-hour meeting you had with your boss going over the numbers?

If you’re running an SEO campaign, metrics are your best friends. They’ll give you the insight you need to adjust your strategy, and the reassurance that you’re doing things correctly. It’s unfortunate that few metrics are able to show you the whole picture, but you can overcome this setback by tempering your expectations and adjusting your conclusions appropriately. I encourage you to continue using measurable data to build and improve your campaigns—just don’t be a slave to the numbers.

Usually, this SEO metric is used to find the strength of a site over time and to compare the strength of several sites. As a part of our SEO services youll get regular rankings reports and well monitor your site to ensure every SEO metric is cared for and tended to keep the weeds out.

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Online Marketing Strategy – How Effective It Is?

Many people who want to improve their online marketing strategy are curious about what it means to blend SEO tactics with content marketing. The advantages of a blended online marketing strategy are vast permitting you truly grow your business at the much more rapid pace than should you didnt have one. Before it is possible to understand the different strategies and marketing tools that are available, it is important to identify what online marketing is and how it promotes a business.

Online marketing is the practice of leveraging web-based channels to spread a message about a companys brand, products, or services to its potential customers. Once you have a sense of where your traffic is coming from and how traffic figures change over time, youll have an easier time determining which areas of your online marketing strategy are working and which need tweaking.


How Effective is Your Current Online Marketing Strategy

The first step to a successful online marketing strategy is looking closely into the overall requirements of your company. More often than not, however, the effectiveness of a marketing strategy is offset by the inability to measure up what is really required. In some cases, it might even be counterproductive: which is why it is the CMO’s job to tackle efficiency questions for the best results. In this article, let us explore some of the yardsticks by which to measure the effectiveness of your current online strategy.

What kind of campaigns are you running?

Different kinds of campaigns have different rates of success, depending on the nature of the company, product, targeted customer and various other factors. You may have email marketing campaigns, newsletter marketing campaigns, social media marketing campaigns, online advertising campaigns running parallel to each other, but it is important to ask a few questions about your campaign before continuing in the same old direction.

online marketing

How to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns?

In the long run, the goal of a successful marketing campaign is to make it entirely self-sustaining. Without a proper digital marketing tactic, you potentially stand to lose out on online market shares, online value propositions, online customers, resources such as time and money. You also stand to lose out on optimization opportunities and opportunities for improvement. Consequently, you should try to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns against certain fixed goals and achievements. You could, for instance, see how you stack up against your competitors and evaluate your rate of growth accordingly. Ask yourself, and answer, some questions about the brand’s value proposition, goals and strategies of growth, marketing channels that are currently under-utilized by your company. Check which of these fits best with your profile and requirements.

What are the tools that are used to measure the ROI of campaigns?

ROI is often taken as the proof of an effective marketing plan, and it can be measured quite easily with a few effective tools. Metrics that can help measure ROI from social media and elsewhere include:

  • Goals for conversion: This is the first step where you need to define targets for online purchases, contact forms, newsletters, time spent on a page, interaction on social media, etc.
  • Reach: Track reach to see how it improves over time.
  • Traffic: Measure referral sources to check which strategies work more through Google Analytics.
  • Leads: Keep track of traffic from blogs and websites that are converted to leads. It is important to focus on a) bounce rate, b) average page views per visit and c) average time on site.
  • Customers: Check leads to also keep track of customer conversions. The popularity and effectiveness of a strategy should also take into account rate of returning visitors to a site.
  • Costs: Cost per lead/cost to acquire customers is also an important factor. It is measured by dividing marketing + advertising costs by number of new, paying customers within that period.
  • Rates of Conversion: Keep an account of the visit-to-lead conversions i.e. online traffic percentage from leads. Note: Top 10% of the AdWords advertisers had 11.45% conversion rates or higher.
  • Audits: Social media audits can be especially helpful, but you can use emails, contact forms, etc. too
  • A/B tests: Discussed below in greater detail.

How to run A/B tests to identify the effectiveness of campaigns.

A/B tests are one of the best processes for measuring campaign effectiveness. Apparently, only 28% marketers are satisfied with their current conversion rates. Naturally, A/B testing is a great way of testing out the kinks of marketing. To do so, you have to decide what to test, select treatment and control mechanisms, and create a test, promote it, gather data, and then analyze it: or simply use one of the pre-existing ones.  Read full story here

Monitoring, evaluating and analysing each component of your online marketing strategy are an essential step in gaining better understanding into potential customers. Small businesses who understand the power of an online marketing strategy are crushing their competition.

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Major Changes That Could Revolutionize Social Media This Year

Social media are a necessary part of any marketing strategy, but they should also be a part of your SEO strategy. Social Media is a powerful tool in your marketing and sales tool box. Keeping up with the latest social media changes is not always easy, but here youll find ideas worth exploring. Staying up-to-date with social media changes is also essential and this could easily absorb a significant amount of your time, especially if your niche revolves around using social media marketing. 

5 Major Changes That Could Revolutionize Social Media This Year

Social Media Changes

Social Media Changes

In marketing, it pays to stay ahead of the curve. New trends, new technologies and new consumer expectations force you to change your game or get outpaced by the competition.

In no arena is this more pressing or evident than in social media. Social media commands a wide audience, has roots in technology and comprises dozens of platforms, all evolving to one-up each other on a large scale. The result is a faster pace and higher universal demand when it comes to paradigm shifts and major changes.

This year, we’re either in the middle of or on the precipice of several game-changing shifts that could revolutionize the world of social media as we know it. Are we entering a world where messages are transmitted by thought, or where our profile information is stored on subdermal microchips? Not quite.

But if your brand wants to stay relevant in the eyes of your customers, you have no choice but to adapt to the following incoming or ongoing changes.

1. The diminishing returns of organic content

You aren’t imagining your content is reaching fewer and fewer people; Facebook formally confirmed years ago that it has been deliberately reducing your organic visibility.

The company claims this is an ongoing effort to improve the relevance of users’ news feeds, but I wouldn’t blame you for suspecting this decrease is a way to encourage more brands to harness the power of paid promotion.

Facebook isn’t the only platform under pressure to perform, either — Twitter has been worrying investors for some time now, and its revenue growth leaves much to be desired.

Gradually, but surely, you can expect the organic visibility of your branded posts to decline across multiple platforms as they follow Facebook’s lead.

It’s hard to imagine any platform evolving to become paid-only, especially this year, but you’ll have to think carefully about how you manage your content syndication efforts and find alternative ways to increase your reach.

2. Advanced audience targeting

On the other hand, platforms are doing more to help brands maximize the effectiveness of their social activity. Facebook, for example, recently launched a new feature to help non-advertising brands target specific audiences in each post.

On the surface, this seems like an exclusively positive tool for brands, but think about it this way: you’re restricting the overall reach of your content, essentially doing Facebook’s job of limiting your organic visibility for it. You just happen to control it in a way that best benefits you. It’s a useful spin on a necessary restriction, and it’s one you can expect other social brands to imitate.

Beyond that, audience targeting options on paid advertising platforms continue to become more robust, leading us into an age where you can target individuals based on almost-creepy factors, like social behavior and contact lists.

3. The hybridization of e-commerce

Pinterest’s recent addition of a “buy” button was met with confusion and criticism from a number of sources, but users are responding warmly to the feature. In fact, Pinterest is expanding the feature to more companies, and you can expect more bells and whistles to roll out over the course of the year.

Why is this relevant, when advertising is commonplace on social media? Because this is a new kind of advertising; in fact, I’d argue that it isn’t advertising as much as it’s a hybridization of a social media and e-commerce platform.

With so many brands competing for advertising dollars, I’d bet good money that by the end of the year, at least one other major player will introduce a similar e-commerce hybrid feature, transforming consumer expectations of social media and presenting new options to brands.

4. The rise of real-time streaming

Users are demanding more instantly available content. It’s not enough to hear a post-game recap; they want to see the game in progress.

Several social media platforms are already doing more to enable real-time captures, such as Twitter’s acquisition of real-time streaming platform Periscope and Facebook’s Livestream feature.

Soon, it won’t be enough to schedule your posts in advance or retroactively make announcements or posts. You’ll have to live in the moment, communicating with your audience immediately. Fortunately, you’ll have the technology to do so easily.

5. The emergence of virtual reality (VR)

The Facebook-owned Oculus Rift is ready to ship early this year, and it’s expected to spark a new revolution of VR technology. You can bet that Facebook will have a major incentive to urge users to create, share and demand more VR-compatible content, and others will follow in its footsteps.

Several of the major players in the gaming space are working on their own versions of a VR headset, and even Google is getting in on the action. I won’t speculate about how fast this trend will grow or if it will explode the way it’s been widely predicted to — but I can tell you if it takes hold, it will almost certainly challenge and transform the way we consume media and communicate with each other.

Final thoughts

These changes aren’t the only ones you need to think about, nor have I exhaustively covered these here; it’s up to you to stay abreast of these ongoing developments and dream up a strategy to make good use of them.

As always, it’s important to take trend and technology predictions with a healthy dose of skepticism — so don’t put all your eggs in one basket by only focusing on one emerging trend. Instead, hedge your bets, stay flexible and be prepared for anything.

As with the changes that take place in your personal relationships, social media changes are dictated by several factors, including the nature of the relationships, the boundaries that you have already established and a good healthy dose of common sense. We often know which social media changes are on the horizon before they launch to the general public.

The post Major Changes That Could Revolutionize Social Media This Year appeared first on Stronghold SEO Services.

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5 Killer Conversion Optimization Techniques

Understanding website conversion optimization techniques is the only priceless link to customer acquisition and the best way to funnel lead through the buying circle. The objective of conversion optimization techniques is to ensure that visitors interact with your site and perform whatever action you need them to perform, such as signing up for a newsletter, purchasing an item or sharing a status on social media websites. Here you will have a useful insight into which conversion optimization techniques are considered to be the most effective for e-commerce industry these days and get acquainted with the powerful tools and services for analyzing, managing, and improving your conversion rates.

5 Killer Conversion Optimization Techniques That Improve Your Rankings

Conversion optimization and SEO have a rather symbiotic relationship — they rely on each other in order to function.

Just as no salesperson can perform their job without a steady flow of customers in their store, no call-to-action can drive conversions without traffic coming to the website. On the other hand, what good are droves of customers if you don’t have an effective strategy to influence them into making a conversion?

Leveraging SEO and conversion optimization offer a balanced approach to your marketing strategy, addressing both sides of the equation. Even if your company primarily invests in PPC to reach its target traffic, ignoring the organic side of search is a mistake — don’t lose out on an opportunity for new customers.

Whether you’re developing new content or simply want to revamp your existing landings pages, these tried and true conversion optimization techniques can improve your performance in organic search over time.

1. Limit Your Scope

Google loves websites that provide immediate answers.

The first page of search results is loaded with pages considered most efficient in terms of answering your search query.

While it’s tempting to optimize pages for a broad audience in order to attract more visitors, this approach often creates a poor user experience.

Addressing a wide range of topics all but guarantees your audience will need to dig for the information they need. Landing pages that speak to everyone speak to no one in particular.

Sharpening your focus is a top-down process that starts with the structure of your website. If you’re not familiar with the concept of SEO silos, it’s time to read up.

How you organize your pages directly impacts how search engines crawl your site and users find the information they need. So-called ‘silos’ give your content a natural place to exist within your site.

With a well-defined site architecture in place, your next task is ensuring the content of your landing pages remains highly focused. Segment variations of your central theme using a clear header hierarchy and tie in a strong call-to-action that speaks to the specific reader.

 

Limit Your Scope

Limit Your Scope

The difference can be dramatic to your organic performance and overall conversion rate.

2. Create Content That Converts

A website’s content is arguably the most important factor influencing conversion rates. It also plays an integral role in how your individual pages perform in organic search.

Great marketing content has the ability to seamlessly blend conversion opportunities. Take a look at the example below for instance:

 

Create Content That Converts

Create Content That Converts

There’s a few things to keep in mind when developing new content to ensure you’re getting the most out of it in regards to conversions and SEO.

First and foremost, your content should be designed for human audiences.

While it’s important to include keywords from an SEO standpoint, you quickly turn off readers with content designed for search engines that’s overloaded with terms. Remember, too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the broth.

In finding keywords to optimize your content, don’t fixate on volume. Keywords with less volume but obvious intent behind them are worth far more. Think discount running shoes vs. shoes — which is more likely to lead to a conversion?

Craft your content with clarity and conversion in mind. Write with a sense of urgency and utilize strong calls-to-action throughout that compliment the natural thought process.

 

Conversion Optimization Techniques

calls-to-action

The above example from Kissmetrics does a great job simplifying the benefit of the service and prompts the reader to make a conversion.

Keeping this content clean and concise makes it easy for your audience to absorb the value proposition and large call-to-action buttons influences their next move.

3. Rely On Visuals

Nothing encourages a visitor to flee your site faster than encountering a massive wall of text.

Breaking up content with visual elements can help make your content more digestible and keeping your audience engaged could ultimately make the difference in terms of creating a new conversion.

While incorporating images can dramatically improve readability and decrease your bounce rate, they must also serve a purpose. Always keep these elements highly relevant.

Determine whether a portion of your content is better served presented as an image. Mine your analytics for landing pages with higher bounce rates and see what opportunities are present to enhance the count with visuals.

 

Rely On Visuals

Rely On Visuals

Apart from better engaging your audience, images also affect the SEO value of your page. Be sure to optimize your images using file names, alt text, and appropriate captions.

4. Flash Forward

Does your website utilize heavy amounts of Flash? If so, you’re living in the past.

Once a cornerstone of the web, Flash has long since been labeled an outdated technology. Originally developed with a mouse and keyboard in mind, today’s internet users have evolved beyond traditional desktop computers — over half of all internet searches now attributed to mobile devices.

Modern web design has moved away from Flash, citing it as major hindrance in terms of accessibility. Flash hampers mobile and tablet users from accessing your full site; similarly, search engines can’t crawl Flash elements of your site, negatively impacting your overall optimization.

While having a few Flash elements won’t hamstring your site completely, it’s a major accessibility issue to address if it affects the way users navigate or interact with your content.

Beyond improving the accessibility of your site, stripping Flash elements can dramatically improve loading times. Faster loading times also give your site an edge in relation to how Google ranks your site.

The bottom line is you want to ditch Flash altogether to create the best user experience and improve your organic search performance — start preparing an exit strategy with your developers.

HTML 5 is the best alternative to Flash and other outdated third party media players. Simple in both form and function, this developer-friendly format ensures your video and audio files are accessible to users across all devices.

5. Perform Regular Testing

It’s nearly impossible to improve your conversion rate without setting a benchmark. Routine testing allows you to monitor your performance and inform your overall marketing strategies going forward.

If you’re just getting started with analytics, start simple. The first thing you’ll typically want to identify is your top pages, easily identified through Google Analytics (Behavior → Site Content → Landing Pages).

 

Perform Regular Testing

Perform Regular Testing

Using your top pages as a benchmark, identify the areas of your site where people most commonly exit (Behavior → Site Content → Exit Pages). Is there anything these lower performing pages might be missing present in your top pages?

 

Perform Regular Testing

Perform Regular Testing

Additionally, there’s a lot of intelligence related to your conversions to be gained from tracking goals in Google Analytics. Most importantly, you’re able to identify the areas of your conversion funnel that might need the most attention.

Use your data to make small improvements across your pages, making sure to monitor changes in traffic and user flow. Perform regular A/B testing to refine your strategies whenever possible.

The Bottom Line

Conversion optimization and SEO are complementary forces designed to build an audience and guide their behavior. Utilizing these techniques can move your website in the right direction in terms of both.

Remember, the benefits of a well optimized site don’t appear overnight — you’ll need to diligently test and revise your landing pages to see the difference to conversions and organic search performance.

These conversion optimization techniques are of general tips that can be used for any type of websites. While some of these old-hat website conversion optimization techniques are still widely used, to compete in todays over-saturated marketplace, marketers have needed to become more creative to capture the attention of a website user in order to get them to convert.

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